There are four basic types of mailing lists:
On an unmoderated mailing list, every message sent
to the list is sent to all members indiscriminately while on a moderated
mailing list only messages approved by the list moderator proceed to the list
On a discussion list everybody can post to the list. On an announcement list, only a limited set of people are allowed to send mail through to the list members. This type is most often used for delivering news and announcements.
While anyone can subscribe to an open mailing list, a closed mailing list is
a discussion limited to a defined set of people. Only the list
maintainer can add new members to or remove old members from the list.
- Individual Message/Digest:
The regular version of a mailing list distributes all messages to all
members at once as messages come in. A digest collects the mail sent to the list during a set period
of time and sends out a collection of these individual messages in one single email.
When you are deciding to join a mailing list read the description to see what type of email list it is.
If you don't want a steady stream of email - choose a digest version.
If you want a list that is moderated and each message is cleared by someone before being posted opt for a moderated list.
If you want to join an exclusive email list look for a closed list that requires someone to approve your membership.
Also be sure to check for age restrictions on email lists or other special requirements. Some lists do not want kids on them - abide by these rules. Other lists are for girls only or guys only. Be sure to read the descriptions before you decide to join.
The next article in the series describes how to use an email list.